Seventh Street Elementary School teacher Stephanie Staub is trying to bring some serious cash to Oil City Area School District to enrich their STEM program. She needs your vote, and she needs it now as the deadline is 11:59 p.m. January 31, 2023.
Staub is a Future Goals Most Valuable Teacher nominee, an NHL sponsored-program that honors great teachers and provides funding for school.
If she wins, she'll need to follow the guidelines, but has her eye on a 3-D printer and the creation of a coding club, she said.
She was nominated for the award by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
According to the program website "The teacher with the most votes each month will win an NHL Club jersey and a $10,000 donation towards Environmental Sustainability Resources from SAP for their school district. The grand prize winner, announced in May, will receive an additional $20,000 donation from SAP for their school district towards Environmental Sustainability Resources. Teachers participating in the Future Goals program who have been selected to be a Teacher of the Month are eligible to be nominated for the Most Valuable Teacher Program."
Stephanie Staub - Pittsburgh Penguins
Stephanie’s hometown team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. She teaches STEM at Seventh Street Elementary and has been a teacher for six years. Stephanie loves bringing new ideas and technologies to students who may not have the opportunity otherwise. She teaches her students about coding, the science of sports, volcanos, hurricanes, the ocean, engineering, and so much more. Stephanie believes STEM is an important topic for students to learn and teaching is her passion. Outside of the classroom, Stephanie has put on community events and teaches yoga to adults and children at a local studio.
Voting for the January Most Valuable Teacher can only be done online.
The Franklin area will be a hub of activity on February 4 as the city and downtown businesses celebrate the annual Franklin on Ice festival.
Sculptures made from nearly 100 blocks of ice will be scattered throughout Fountain Park as part of the city’s only winter festival. Starting at 10 a.m., visitors can stroll through the park to check out dozens of sculptures created for the event by DiMartino Ice Company of Jeannette.
“We will have some beautiful double hearts,” Franklin Fine Arts Council leader Ronnie Beith said about the wintry decorations, some of which she did not want to reveal early. “There are a couple of things that will surprise people. They are different.”
Plans call for the return of the slide for kids. It and other big pieces will be built in the park prior to the festival.
This year’s Franklin on Ice chili cookoff competition and tasting event will be held starting at 1 p.m. at the Grumpy Goat Distillery The FFAC, which provided supplies and support for the event, will also be the beneficiary of the proceeds.
“We are glad to see the cookoff returning again this year and are pleased to partner with Grumpy Goat to make it happen again,” Beith said, adding that anyone interested in participating as a cook should contact the distillery for additional details.
And that is just one of the businesses that will benefit from the annual winter festival. "It's such a major perk during this slow time of the year for the businesses," Beith said of the crowds that typically assemble in the park and around town.
Beith said the ideal temperatures for the event are 30s with no sun, rain or snow and good roads. "I'm just hoping for not hot weather," Beith said.
And it looks like she will get her wish. The 10-day Weather Channel forecast shows Franklin will be mostly cloudy with a few snow showers in the morning highs in the upper 20s.
Saturday evening, several of the sculptures will be lit with colorful lights. The FFAC also decided to leave the park’s holiday lights in place to add to the festive evening atmosphere, this includes the lights hung among the trees, strung around the trunks and spotlighting the weeping cherries.
“Franklin on Ice is oftentimes a favorite among our residents, visitors and business owners because it is a great break from the winter doldrums, brings people downtown, and puts fills the park and the streets with smiling people,” Beith said. “And that’s the mark of a successful event.”
Franklin on Ice is popular among amateur and professional photographers and a hotspot for family photos.
The FFAC is encouraging visitors who post their favorite pictures on social media to use the #franklinonice hashtag.
Events in and around the city during Franklin on Ice weekend
(Updated on January 30 to include additional activities.)
The Nature Art Showcase and Sale will hold an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, February 3 and their main event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 4 in the Barrow-Civic Theatre lobby at 1223 Liberty Street. The event is sponsored by the Council of Greenways & Trails.
Misty Lane Farms will offer horse and carriage rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will be loading near the corner of Liberty and West Park streets.
As part of the Dine for a Cause fundraiser by the Franklin Retail & Business Association, Pastries by Andrea will be at Something Clever from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Olde Liberty will host a warming station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free hot chocolate, a kids scavenger hunt and $15 tarot card readings.
The Sweetery To Go will hold its grand opening. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. they will be in Fountain Park handing out cards for free cookies and a chance to win proizes at their store at 322 13th Street.
The cast of the Barrow-Civic Youth Theatre's production of The Rainbow Fish Musical will hold craft and story times at 10 and 11 a.m. in the Little Theatre. Attendees will also get a book from the United Way of Venango County. All activities are free and there is no pre-registration required.
The Franklin Public Library at 421 12th Street will celebrate Love Your Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with crafts, a student artwork display, Dr. Seuss themed story times at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., refreshments, and a Cat in the Hat meet and greet. There is no registration requirement, and the event is open to all ages. The library will also be hosting special hours of its ongoing book sale and will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Two Mile Run County Park will host a Justus Jaunt Polar Plunge into Justus Lake at 1 p.m. Registration opens at 12:30 p.m. It is $25 to do the full plunge and $20 to do the chicken walk toe dip. For more information contact park office at 676-6116.
There will be a chili cookoff competition and tasting event starting at 1 p.m. at the Grumpy Goat Distillery. For a donation of $6 you can taste 15 chili's provided by local business' and individuals and vote for your favorite. All donations go to the Franklin Fine Arts Council.
Caitlyn Masterson will perform from 1 to 4 p.m. at TrAils To Ales II. There will also be a kids’ hot chocolate bar.
Amy's Closet and Sassy's Gifts will offer refreshments and offering free gifts with a purchase all day.
There will be magic shows at Iron Furnace Coffee at 3:45 and 4:30 p.m.
The Oil Valley Jeep group will hold a Starlight Run riding event consisting of a mixture of trails and roads driven on a winter’s night to benefit Two Mile Run Park. This is a Jeep only event with check-in from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Nature Lodge and staging starting at 4:30 p.m. and rides from 5 to 9 p.m. It is $30 to participate in the ride and free to participate in the Jeep light show.
The Barrow-Civic Theatre will host the 6th annual Celebration of Talent Competition at 7:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Franklin Rotary Club, the competition showcases a variety of talent from 12 contestants of all ages, and the audience determines the winner. Tickets are $17.
American Pie will play from 7 to 10 p.m. at TrAils to Ales II.
Wanango Country Club will hold a Back the 90s party from 7 to 11 p.m. Music by DJ Todd. It is $5. Open to ages 21 and older. Beverage and food will be available.
Max Schang & His Blues Trio will play from 9 p.m. to midnight at FoxTales Pub.
Questions about the Oil Region Guide or requests for copies can be directed to Altomare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re very proud to have this new marketing piece that so thoroughly highlights all our area has to offer,” ORA's executive director John Phillips said in the release.
The Driving Tour Booklets are available for free at the ORA office at 217 Elm St., Oil City and at literature distribution racks throughout the Oil Region National Heritage Area.
There will be some familiar faces and a few new ones on the stage next month as the Barrow-Civic Theatre and the Franklin Rotary Club present the 6th Annual Celebration of Talent Competition at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The competition showcases the variety of talents of 12 individuals from the Franklin area. Each is given the opportunity to perform in the first part of the event. Then the audience votes for their favorite, with the top five making it into the second round. Each of the finalists performs a second time and the audience votes for the winner, who will receive a $500 cash prize. Second place gets $300 and the third-, fourth- and fifth- place finishers will each receive a $100 Franklin Retail Association gift card.
This year’s contestants are Stefon Austin, Kaleb Beichner, Kayla Christine, Tim Craver, Ethan Culp, Bellina Devine, Kachina Earhart, Wild Will Ion, Alexander Karg, Megan Orris, Almost Famous (Luke Pentz) and Madison Wakefield. Reigning winner Ashlynne Cornmesser will be the emcee and will also perform.
Order tickets by calling the box office at 814-437-3440 or going online to the theatre website.
Submission deadline is Jan. 27, 2023
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge, a program that "encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers."
The program is open to all students in grades 9-12. Students are asked to develop ideas to help address the shortage of commercial truck parking along major interstate corridors in Pennsylvania. Trucks parking on highway shoulders and ramps is common during overnight hours and presents a significant safety issue.Press Release
Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to present their solutions to the PennDOT Secretary and a panel of judges, who will determine the statewide winner. For this year’s challenge, the Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), has donated $2,500 and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) has donated $1,500 for a combined total award of $4,000 to the statewide winning team.
For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit www.penndot.pa.gov/innovation and click on Innovations Challenge. The submission deadline is Jan. 27, 2023.
Poetry to fight bigotry
“We hope to have an audience that comes with open minds and hearts ready to join us in denouncing racism and hate,” said Jo Scheier, one of the organizers of this Saturday’s poetry reading in Franklin. Poets Against Racism USA are inviting poets who wish to read their work and the public who wants to learn through the arts about issues associated with hate to the Franklin Public Library at 11 a.m. January 21.
“We are partnering with the Bridge Literary Arts Group based in Franklin,” Scheier said. “Members of that group, and members of Poets Against Racism USA will be reading. We have eight poets reading and will also have an open mic if time allows.”
The Poets Against Racism USA’s website explain who they are as “… a network of primarily US-based poets who challenge, discuss, and confront racism, bigotry, and hate through the power of poetry. Affiliated with and inspired by the Poets Against Racism (PAR) movement launched in the UK in 2017, PAR USA was conceived by two poets in northeastern Ohio/northwestern Pennsylvania in 2021. We wish to promote love, peace, and positivity toward all, regardless of color, ethnicity, place of origin, creed, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, appearance, or physical or mental ability. We encourage others from around the country to join our movement so that we can spread the message of zero tolerance for racism, bigotry, and hate.”
To learn more about the group you can attend the reading or visit their website here.
Jeeping under the stars
The Oil Valley Jeeps group will hold a Starlight Run, a fundraising event consisting of a mixture of trails and roads, driven on a winter’s night, to benefit Two Mile Run Park.
The Jeep only event, open to all modified Jeep 4x4s, and stock Wranglers will be held February 4.
Check-in from 4 to 6 p.m at the Nature Lodge, located across from Crosby Beach. Get directions.
Staging begins at 4:30 p.m..
Alternate weather date is February 11.
Spectators welcome at no cost. Rules & Regulations for the event - this is the only time motor vehicles will be permitted off road within Two Mile Run County Park and all Jeeps must be part of a Starlight Run guided tour group. All drivers must be at least 18 years of age. All occupants planning to drive the registered Jeep must wear a driver wristband and agree to the terms and conditions of the Waiver and Rules found here.
These documents are to be printed and signed by all occupants in the registered Jeep. Blank copies of the Waiver will be available during check-in Due to weather and changing conditions, trails can be closed or reclassified at any time during the event. There are no refunds due to weather or trail closures/reclassifications. All registration monies will be considered a donation and will not be refunded.
Another event is scheduled for July 8 and 9 with details coming soon.
Students can apply online by April 1 by clicking here.
The scholarship program is administered through the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Scholarships are awarded through an independent panel of judges chosen by the foundation.
An informational meeting about the trails in eastern Crawford County, including the East Branch Trail and Queen City Trail, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the Hydetown Volunteer Fire Department social hall.
Volunteers with all types of skill sets are needed to support trail development and ongoing maintenance such as hands-on construction from hand tools to heavy equipment, writing, social media and website design, finance and fundraising, and trail patrols.
“If you have a skill you’d like to share, I’m sure we can find a role for you to support the trails,” said Kim Harris, Oil Region Alliance Project Manager, Outdoor Recreation Specialist.
Harris will facilitate the meeting alongside local trail experts Ron Steffey of Steffey Trail Connections and representatives from Clear Lake Authority.
Late last year Steffey gave a presentation to Titusville City Council about the proposed expansion of the trail system between the city and Hydetown. Read more about that proposal under the Eight & 27 tab.